NEWS RELEASE: Central Island call-answer service successfully transferred to E-Comm

Vancouver, B.C.—Today at 9:15 a.m. E-Comm—British Columbia’s largest 9-1-1 Primary Public Safety Answer Point (PSAP)—became the first point of contact for 9-1-1 callers in the city of Nanaimo and the regional districts of Nanaimo and Cowichan Valley. The changeover to E-Comm will be transparent to residents of central Vancouver Island, who should dial 9-1-1 as usual.

Approximately 57,000 9-1-1 calls are made each year from the Central Island area, which will now be answered by E-Comm’s many highly-trained 9-1-1 call-takers. E-Comm staff will quickly confirm which agency the caller requires and for which location before transferring the call to local police call-takers in Courtenay, fire call-takers in Nanaimo and ambulance call-takers in Victoria.

“This is an important day for Central Island residents who are accustomed to high-quality 9-1-1 service,” said Mike Dietrich, (Acting) Director Social & Protective Services with the City of Nanaimo. “Based on E-Comm’s outstanding track record over the past 16-years operating as a PSAP, we are confident in the communication centre’s ability to continue to deliver this same level of service.”

After months of collaborative technical and operational planning, the transfer of 9-1-1 services occurred seamlessly with the first call coming into E-Comm at 9:23 a.m. The call was a request for the ambulance service.

“Public safety is always a priority and the new partnership with E-Comm will ensure our communities receive added operational and technical benefits,” explained Colin Haime, Deputy Chair of the Regional District of Nanaimo. “This includes a larger workforce to handle high call volume as well as increased security and resiliency.”

Conrad Cowan with the Cowichan Valley Regional District added that there will also be significant cost savings. “The Central Island 9-1-1 partnership chose to relocate services to E-Comm because we felt this would provide our regional districts with the most cost effective, high-quality operational and technical expertise, along with a robust infrastructure with many layers of redundancy for our residents,” said Cowan, Manager, Public Safety Division.

Part of the robust preparations surrounding this morning’s transition included multiple test calls across both regional districts. Geography familiarization was also part of the preparations with the many geographical and other special attributes of the new service area being a focus of call-taker training, along with the policies and procedures for individual agencies.

“Whenever we embark upon a new service partnership preparation is our top priority,” explained David Guscott, E-Comm President and CEO. “9-1-1 is a critical lifeline for people in need of immediate help from first responders, and we are committed to providing high-quality, responsive 9-1-1 service to our new partners and the residents of central Vancouver Island.”


E-Comm is the Primary 9-1-1 Public Safety Answer Point (PSAP) for 24 regional districts and other communities spanning from Vancouver Island to the Alberta and U.S. borders, to north of Prince George and is the largest 9-1-1 call centre in British Columbia. E-Comm also provides dispatch services to 33 police and fire departments and operates the largest multi-jurisdictional, tri-service emergency radio system in the province.

Media contact: 

E-Comm 9-1-1
Jody Robertson
[email protected]

City of Nanaimo
Philip Cooper
[email protected]

Regional District of Nanaimo
Christina Gray
[email protected]

Cowichan Valley Regional District
Conrad Cowan
[email protected]